CRESTVIEW — When festivals take place downtown, the sponsoring organization — often the city — sometimes must rent portable staging.

That might soon change.

Community Redevelopment Agency and Main Street Crestview Association director Brenda Smith proposes purchasing a retired shipping container and converting it to a mobile stage.

CRA board members like the idea — and, by a 3-1 vote, with board member Joe Blocker voting nay on Monday, approved allocating $7,550 toward the project. The plan's supporters learned after the meeting that the goal might be achieved easier and cost less.

Crestview Public Works director Wayne Steele, whose machine shop would have performed the conversion, said assistant director Carlos Jones has located used mobile stages for sale.

“We have found some that are already made,” Steele said. “Rather than us building it, we might find something that meets our vision for a lot less.”

Steele said Smith found a container that weighs 5,000 pounds, which was almost twice as heavy as what he was envisioning and would prove a challenge for the Public Works machine shop.

Blocker asked to see design renderings before the container was converted to assure it was aesthetically presentable.

“If we're going to have something like that, let’s have something that has good first impressions,” he said.

“I have personally seen some creative repurposing of shipping containers and they’re only limited by your imagination,” board member Bill Cox said.

Steele said he, Jones and Smith will evaluate the used stages Jones found before making another recommendation to the CRA board.